If you are on the referee panel and are telephoned for a ruling you might want to check
a. Is it a ruling of first instance or an appeal ruling? For rulings of first instance the competitor is encouraged to seek a director from the list but under some circumstances a referee is sometimes contacted.
b. Is it an EBU competition or the Gold Cup/Silver Plate or perhaps a County Competition? It's worth knowing because the conditions of contest do differ.
c. Is the request for a ruling in time? The conditions of contest for EBU Knock out events state that a player should normally have raised the question at the time and confirmed before going to score the set of boards. An exception might be if facts come to light when scoring up that might not have been known at the time of the hand.
d. Could your ruling result in a tie? If so then there is a consideration of extra boards. There is at least one instance for a ruling changing the match result to a tie and the players by that time having left the venue. They had to convene a week later to play 4 boards. History doesn't record whether they broke for refreshments after two boards!
e. Taking a deposit. If it is an appeal then you have warned the side appealing that a deposit (£30 in a teams game) is payable if the appeal is lost and the referee decides on forfeiture.
f. You are familiar with section 93.5 of the White Book about appeals by telephone. It is reproduced below
93.5 Procedures for telephone Referees The names of the players are not disclosed to the Referee unless the Referee asks, although their standard of play in relation to the event is reported. The name of the Referee is disclosed to the players on request, but players do not have the right to choose the Referee on an appeal against a TD's decision. It is not automatic that the players should speak to the Referee in person, but in order for the players to have confidence in the telephone Referee the following procedures should be followed: (a) If it is practicable, it is best that the players do talk to the Referee; and (b) It should be normal for an appeal form to be completed as comprehensively as possible before the Referee is telephoned; and (c) The TD should read verbatim from the appeal form when speaking to the Referee. (d) Referees should consult as much as they deem necessary before coming to their decision.